Category Archives for Heart Health

Heart Month Cover Story

Heart attack survivor and motivational wellness speaker Eliz Greene is featured in the cover story of the February 2017 Queen of the Castle Magazine.

In the article, written by Jenn Chapman, Eliz shares the story of surviving a heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins and he mission to inspire women to pay attention to their heart health and manage stress.

Exerpt:

“What’s really interesting and alarming is that 7 out of 10 people report they are highly stressed at work. Stress is a fascinating chemical reaction in our body , which makes our blood pressure, and heart rate goes up. Blood actually gets stickier which is good for survival. We need that burst of energy to deal with crisis but eventually when that crisis pass we are supposed to be able to recover, but because we live at this high stress all the time we don’t have time to recover and the cortisol level builds and builds,” Eliz says.

And that’s where most women find themselves. Luckily, Eliz message to her audience is one of hopqueen-of-castle-cover-eliz-greenee. There are proactive steps that all women can take.

“I am often asked to present on work-life balance and yet if I’m honest with myself I am constantly figuring that out. I don’t think I’m alone. The idea that work and life are supposed to balance each other out doesn’t work because they don’t happen separately,” she shares.

“It’s not that we can’t manage our homes it’s just all blended together. We can do things to clarify priorities and protect time to recover from stress, but it take a cultural change to make a real difference. I think that is possible,” Eliz says.

So when that work email pops up on your phone when you’re at home watching TV with the kids, whether you respond to it or not, your mind will begin processing the message. Ultimately taking away the divider from home and work life and thus the stress rises.

One of the most common effects of stress is added weight around the mid section. The most efficient way to process cortisol out of the body is to sleep but studies show that very few women get enough sleep. And so the cycle of busy and stress continues.

“We eat away at the margins of the day to get stuff done. But yet sleep is the most efficient way to get rid of our stress. We have to be working not just for our family but also for our quality of life that makes it worth it. If we work so much we don’t see our families, we missed it,” says Eliz.

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election stress is dangerous for professional women

Election Stress Dangerous For Professional Women

Could the election stress put heart health at risk?

Due to election stress caused by an unprecedented level of turmoil in the 2016 presidential race, professional women may find themselves, and their hearts, in danger. More than 60 percent of professional women report a high level of stress on an average day, and nearly 20 percent report an acute level of stress in our job stress study. Stress at these levels already increases the risk of heart disease and heart attack, which is one reason workplace stress induced cardiovascular disease is recognized as a global epidemic.  Election stress increases these risks.

2016 Election Significant Source of Stress

More than half of American adults are experiencing significant stress as the result of news stories, social media posts, ads, and arguments about the election, according to an American Psychological Association survey. Regardless of party affiliation, this election is ramping up stress levels.  For already at-risk professional women, this increase in emotional stress is of particular concern.

Emotional Stress More Dangerous for Women

Decreased blood flow to the heart, or myocardial ischemia, causes heart attacks. While the decrease in blood flow is often caused by blockages in the arteries leading to the heart, it can also be caused by emotional stress. Women are twice as likely to reduced blood flow to the heart due to stress than men. Even more concerning, physical exertion while angry, or emotionally stressed, can triple the risk of heart attack. The increased pressure on already constricted blood vessels can be deadly.  In other words, an intense run may not be the best way to deal with anger or stress created by election coverage or conversation.  Paying attention to stress levels and watching for danger signs is critical.

election stress is dangerous for professional women

Danger Signs For Professional Women:

Symptoms of heart attacks in women can be very subtle, but most women report some signs that something is wrong. Women with additional risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and smoking should be especially vigilant.

Don’t ignore danger signs such as:

  • Any unusual pain in the jaw, neck, shoulder, torso
  • Uncomfortable pressure, burning or squeezing in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea

Any of these could be a sign of a heart attack. Play it safe and call 911 to get help right away.

Reducing Election Stress:

  • Limit Social Media… for a while:
    People who use social media are more likely to find the election stressful according to the American Psychological Association survey. Rather than taking the clickbait all day, limit yourself to a short time on social media and click through on a few trusted sources.
  • Vote and Disengage:
    Most states offer early voting.  Take advantage, even if you are undecided.  You’ll need to decide at some point, and belaboring will likely cause more stress.  Vote, pat yourself on the back for participating in our democracy, and then step away.
  • Use Recovery Strategies:
    Give your body a break from the stress with a walk outside, a restful night’s sleep, a good laugh, or one of the recovery strategies in this infographic.
  • Take The Long View:
    The world will still turn on its axis after election day.  Life and work will continue.  Be kind to yourself and to those around you.

Fortunately, the stress caused by the election is likely temporary.  However, the high stress levels of professional women will still need to be addressed.  Putting good stress recovery strategies in place now, and paying attention to stress levels, will build good habits for the future.

 

mammograms important for breast and heart health

Mammograms And Heart Disease

Mammograms are effective in detecting breast cancer in the early stages. It turns out mammograms may also be able to detect the early stages of heart disease as well. This could be another tool for doctors and women with heart disease risk factors to evaluate treatment needs. In addition, women with heart disease may have special needs when having a mammogram.

How Does A Mammogram Work?

A mammogram is a specialized x-ray of the breast. Mammograms can show two types of changes in breast tissue: calcifications and masses. Calcifications are small deposits of minerals in the tissue that appear as white spots on the x-ray. The mammogram cannot predict whether these calcifications are cancer, only that they are present in the tissue.

How Could A Mammogram Predict Heart Disease?

Calcification in blood vessels is a significant indicator of the hardening of the arteries type of heart disease, called Atherosclerosis. This type of calcification can appear as lines on a mammogram. 

mammograms important for breast and heart healthWhat Should Be Done If Calcifications Are Found On A Mammogram?

First, don’t panic. Finding calcifications on a mammogram probably isn’t a sign of an impending heart attack, but it is and indication that more investigation should be done. Tests such as a treadmill stress test, which monitors your heart during exercise, and blood test should be done to determine the progression of heart disease in your body. Caught early, heart disease can be treated and well managed with lifestyle changes and medication.

What Should Women At High Risk Of Heart Disease Do?

If you are at high risk of heart disease ask the radiologist examining your x-rays to pay special attention to possible calcifications in the blood vessels. Having multiple years of exams to look at may be helpful in determining the progress of heart disease or the effectiveness of treatment.

What Concerns Do Female Heart Patients Have With A Mammogram?

Women with significant heart disease or those who have had heart surgery have special concerns when having a mammogram. Ask your doctor if you should stop blood thinning medications for several days before your exam in order to prevent bruising. Discuss the placement of any implanted devices, such as pacemakers or internal defibrillators, with the technician before you begin the mammogram. Special care should be taken to not dislodge wires or create too much pressure. Women scheduled for heart surgery should get a mammogram. Scar tissue from blood vessels being harvested in the chest for bypass or from an open heart procedure can be very tender for the first few years after surgery. Scheduling a mammogram before surgery allows the maximum amount of time for recovery between exams and allows for comparison of x-rays before and after surgery. A mammogram is an effective tool for managing your health, both breast and heart health. Make sure you share your complete medical history, including heart disease risk, when having a mammogram. Discuss any concerns with heart medications, scar tissue, or implanted devices before you begin. Schedule regular mammogram screening appointments and protect your heart.

A mammogram is an effective tool for managing your health, both breast and heart health. Make sure you share your complete medical history, including heart disease risk, when having a mammogram. Discuss any concerns with heart medications, scar tissue, or implanted devices before you begin. Schedule regular mammogram screening appointments and protect your heart.

This article was originally posted on Answers.com

Eliz Greene survived a heart attack at age 35 while seven months pregnant with twins. Her down-to-earth strategies to manage stress and improve heart health are used by thousands of busy women all over the world. She is a great fit as a Women’s Leadership Speaker and Women’s Wellness Speaker.  Find out more at www.ElizGreene.com

4 healthy reasons to drink coffee

Happy Coffee Day: 4 Healthy Reasons To Drink UP

Is Coffee Good For Your Health?

Contrary to worries in the past, recent studies conclude up to 5 cups of coffee per day can benefit your health!

That coffee break may be better for your health than you know.  Here are 4 Healthy Reasons to Drink UP:

  • Simply standing up and walking to grab a cup of joe combats the impact of long periods of sitting
  • An adrenaline reaction which enhances physical performance and mental agility
  • Increased fluid intake which supports critical functions of the liver, colon, and kidneys
  • Lower risk of Type II Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Depression, Some Cancers, Stroke, and Heart Disease4 healthy reasons to drink coffee

Of course, some people, especially those with abnormal heart rhythms such as Atrial Fibrillation, should avoid caffeine. However, for most people drinking 5 cups of coffee, 300 – 500 mg of caffeine per day can be beneficial.

So…

Happy Coffee Day — Drink UP!

Eliz Greene survived a heart attack at age 35 while seven months pregnant with twins. Her down-to-earth strategies to manage stress and improve heart health are used by thousands of busy women all over the world. She is a great fit as a Women’s Leadership Speaker and Women’s Wellness Speaker.  Find out more at www.ElizGreene.com

 

Heart Attack And Pain Interview

Eliz Greene shares insight coping with heart attack and surgery pain

In this interview with Dr. Paul Christo, Eliz discusses taking even subtle discomfort seriously and how to deal with heart pain after a hearth attack and surgery.

distract-pain-eg

One of the strategies for dealing with chronic heart related pain  shared was to find ways to distract yourself.

“Getting outside of my head, and often outside of the house, were necessary as I healed from surgery.”

However, we shouldn’t distract ourselves from the clues our bodies send to let us know when something is very wrong.

Here are 7 tips to tell if it is heartburn or a heart attack causing your pain from Eliz’s Women’s Wellness Blog

Eliz Greene survived a heart attack at age 35 while seven months pregnant with twins. Her down-to-earth strategies to manage stress and improve heart health are used by thousands of busy women all over the world. She is a great fit as a Women’s Leadership Speaker and Women’s Wellness Speaker.  Find out more at www.ElizGreene.com

 

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